Another Orbison brother has tied the knot! On June 11, 2017, musician Roy Orbison Jr. married Asa Hallgren on the steps of Cash Cabin Studio, steps away from Orbison’s childhood home. With just 11 guests in attendance at the surprise wedding, it was a quaint and intimate moment full of family and love.
So why the June 11 date? Back on June 11, 2013 (yes, exactly four years before they tied the knot!), Asa and a friend went out after work in central Stockholm, and Asa sat in the chair next to Roy. “We started talking, and didn’t stop all night,” she remembers. “We turned into kids, laughing and chasing one another around the park.” But while she felt a spark immediately, Asa didn’t let herself dream about a future with Roy due to the distance between Sweden and Nashville. Over the next year, she and Roy spent hours on the phone, and when he came back the next summer, she agreed to visit Nashville with him. “After that trip, I didn’t want to go home,” Asa recalls. Six months later, Roy asked Asa to move to America. “He has a way of making everything sound so easy, but I knew it was a big decision that needed to be thought through. Roy asked how many times he’d need to ask me, and I figured five was a good number,” Asa says. So ask five times he did, and in March of 2015 she packed her bags.
Asking five times became a tradition for the couple, and that’s how Roy decided to propose, too. First, he asked on a beautiful summer night in Stockholm, saying that he didn’t have a ring because he wasn’t quite done proposing yet. The second time was in Cannes, during dinner on a pier beneath a fireworks show. The third was in the Stockholm park where the couple first met, with Roy on his knees in the snow. The fourth was in the hospital, moments after Asa gave birth to their son, Roy III. The fifth time—the one that truly stuck—was with a yellow diamond Tiffany ring in their Nashville home.
Roy Jr.’s father, Roy Orbison, was best friends with Johnny Cash—so much so that Cash bought the house next to Orbison’s in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Roy Jr. grew up alongside Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, just a few hundred feet from the place where he and Asa would get married. “When we started talking about getting married, John offered up his home as the venue and then took on the role of officiant!” says Asa. “The place is magic. If Roy’s parents and godparents (Johnny Cash and June Carter) are present anywhere, it’s at this special place.”
The couple planned a simple celebration with a minimum amount of pressure and a maximum amount of love, and tied the knot in—you guessed it—the first of their five weddings (each to be held on June 11th, the anniversary of the day they met) on the steps of the cabin. Keep reading to see Rebecca Denton's photos of the surprise wedding, which was complete with a vintage vibe and beautiful music, obviously.
John Carter Cash was ordained just for the occasion, creating a spiritual ceremony program full of personal touches.
Asa knew she wanted a lace dress, but hadn’t been having luck finding the right design. “For our small, private ceremony, I wanted a dress that was simple and beautiful,” she says. Thankfully, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law were there to help. Erika (who married Roy’s brother, Alex, earlier this year) had a special gift for Asa: a vintage 1940s wedding dress made of silk and lace. “When I opened the package, I just knew. It was like being given the blessing to marry their brother,” says the bride. The wrap-style dress was a perfect fit, featuring elbow-length sleeves accented with sheer lace panels.
Her delicate white nosegay featured roses and mums, and she topped the dress with an Olia Zavozina veil.
Each of Asa’s accessories told a story. Roy chose her yellow diamond engagement ring because he describes her as a ray of sunshine, and the curved yellow gold band (set with nine yellow diamonds) was the perfect match. She wore two necklaces: a gold heart pendant given to her by her sister-in-law, Erika, and a yellow diamond necklace that Roy surprised Asa with during the ceremony. The gold and pearl earrings were a gift from Asa’s mother, and her Cartier Love bracelet was a gift Roy gave her when they found out she was pregnant with their son, Roy III.
Asa's dress may have been vintage, but her shoes were not! The bride paired the soft silk with woven slide sandals with pearl-embellished straps by Tory Burch.
The couple’s son, Roy III, was the ring bearer. “He wore the National Suit of Sweden,” says Asa. He topped his blue vest and yellow pants with a green straw hat, and might have been the cutest part of the whole wedding!
“Our wedding was a surprise, so our bridesmaids and groomsmen didn’t know they’d be standing by our sides during the ceremony until five minutes before it started!” says Asa.
The couple is currently expecting their second child, whom they'll name Bo in honor of Hallgren's father and Orbison's mother, Barbara Orbison. They’re also well underway planning wedding two of five, with help from Sara Fried of Fête Nashville. Fried promises “a very European, Great Gatsby ambiance and lots of food celebrating Roy’s American roots and Asa’s Swedish heritage.”
We can’t wait for their next celebration!